Linda Mason, Director & Global Leadership Council Chair

Linda Mason

Linda Mason currently serves as Leader-in-Residence at the Centre for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. Ms. Mason is chairman and co-founder of Bright Horizons, the largest worldwide provider of worksite child care and early education. Bright Horizons operates more than 850 high quality child development centers for employers in 45 states, Europe and India. Clients include Starbucks, Toyota, the United Nations, Johnson & Johnson, Boeing, Cisco Systems, Citigroup, Yale University, MIT, Duke University and UCLA among others. Bright Horizons also operates eight elementary schools, private and charter. The company employs 25,000 people and cares for more than 100,000 children. Bright Horizons is partnering with First Lady Michelle Obama on her national child anti-obesity campaign.

Bright Horizons was selected by Fortune magazine in January 2015 for the 16th time as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For in America.” Linda Mason was one of five corporate recipients of the Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership presented by President Bill Clinton. She was the 1996 recipient of the Ernst & Young/USA Today "National Entrepreneur of the Year," one of Business Week's 1997 "Best Entrepreneurs" and one of Working Mother Magazine’s “25 most influential working mothers in America.”

Ms. Mason is the author of "The Working Mother’s Guide to Life," published in November 2002 by Random House. She has written and spoken broadly on early education and the issues of corporate work/life policies and challenges, including participating on White House work/life panels and initiatives during the Clinton administration.

Ms. Mason also co-founded Horizons for Homeless Children (HHC), a Boston-based organisation that serves the needs of homeless children throughout New England. HHC has trained over 10,000 volunteers to work in 150 playspaces established by HHC in homeless shelters. In addition, HHC operates three full-service child care centers for homeless children, also providing assistance to mothers to reach self-sufficiency. HHC is a national model for the care and early education of homeless children and a model for an effective path to self-sufficiency for homeless mothers.

Linda Mason served as a founding member of the board of directors for the new Massachusetts State Department of Early Education and Care. She was also a member of the Governor’s Education Transition team in 2003.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Mason managed large-scale refugee relief operations overseas. She served as Co-Country Director of Save the Children's emergency programme in Sudan during the African famine of 1984-85, creating a national programme that served 400,000 Sudanese famine victims. She also was responsible for the operation of emergency services for two refugee camps serving over 40,000 Eritrean refugees. Ms. Mason also directed a large feeding programme for CARE for malnourished children in Cambodian refugee camps along the Thai border after the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia of 1979. She co-authored the book "Rice, Rivalry, and Politics" (University of Notre Dame Press, 1983), which looked at the politics and the challenges of the Cambodian relief operation.

Ms. Mason has a BA from Cornell University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. She has held leadership positions on the boards of several important non-profit institutions, serving as: Trustee of Yale University, Chair of the Yale School of Management Advisory Board, Trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Trustee of the Packard Foundation, and Director of Mercy Corps.